At Blackwater River State Forest, each of the recreation areas offers access to hiking, and popular Bear Lake is no exception. A 4-mile trail loops around this impounded reservoir, which flows into Sweetwater Creek.
Visiting Blackwater River State Forest
Activities in Blackwater River State Forest, northeast of Pensacola.
With sandy beaches tempting on every curve of the river and trails for paddlers and hikers to enjoy, Blackwater River State Park is the gateway to thousands of acres of public lands stretching northward to the Alabama border.
A Florida Trail Gateway Community – where hikers walk right through the historic downtown – Crestview is located on a high ridge and receives a high amount of rainfall each year.
There are many opportunities for Boy Scouts to complete hiking and backpacking merit badges and 50-miler awards along the Florida Trail; this list will start you planning your next trip.
45.5 miles. The Blackwater section of the Florida Trail walks you through Atlantic white cedar and longleaf pine forests, pitcher plant bogs and titi swamps en route to the Alabama border.
16.6 miles. On the Jackson Red Ground Trail, the very first trail built in Blackwater River State Forest in the 1970s, the Florida Trail rises up from the red clay bluffs of Juniper Creek and enters rolling clayhills topped with longleaf pine forests.
7.3 miles. Also known as the Juniper Creek Trail, the Florida Trail at Juniper Creek is a gorgeous place to explore, with its panorama at Red Rocks and botanical delights along and above the creek basin.
12.3 miles. On the northernmost segment of the Florida Trail, connecting to the greater Eastern Continental Trail at the state line with Alabama, the Wiregrass Trail immerses you in longleaf pine forests northeast of Pensacola.
11.1 miles. For an acrobatic adventure on the Florida Trail, the Yellow River Ravines section between Holt and Harold tosses both tricky swamp traverses and creative creek crossings your way.
On the third day of the 2013 Panhandle Trace Hike, we followed the Juniper Creek section of the Florida Trail away from the wildfires that burned to the north, experiencing beauty and absurdity along the way.